Welcome Message and Mission Statement
The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad hominem personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!
This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituents criticism.
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Here's a new story for you, and you just won't believe this, Atkinson is getting sued again because of police actions!!!
Hampstead family sues police over chase death
Article Date: Thursday, July 31, 2008
BRENTWOOD, N.H. (AP) _ A Hampstead, N.H., mother is suing police in Hampstead and Atkinson over a chase that ended with the death of her son three years ago.
Gayle Gosselin says officers from both towns violated police pursuit policies in July 2005, when they were trying to stop her son, Chad Gosselin. He was killed when he crashed his motorcycle while trying to get away from officers. Police say he was drunk.
Gayle Gosselin argues officers violated their policies and disregarded safety by chasing her son at high speed through traffic and on a winding road.
July 31, 2008 12:38 PM
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Atkinson Police Chief
By CNHT | July 28, 2008
July 28, 2008
According to an Atkinson resident that we spoke with the latest uproar involving Atkinson Police Chief Phil Consentino involves the 5 donation accounts he manages, all mentioned in the 2007 Town Report.
After complaints by residents, the Charitable Trusts Unit with the AGO’s office investigated and notified the Chief that none of the funds are registered or managed in accordance with NH regulations. The Chief believes he does not fall under the restrictions of 501(c)(3). He claims he does not manage or have access to these funds. He also claims to have contacted the Town auditors, Mason & Rich, who supposedly verified that everything is in order.
An initial independent audit of town meeting minutes and accounting data reveal that the monies requested to be withdrawn by the Chief do not match the monies that are actually withdrawn by him. Residents claim that a significant number of public documents confirm that he manages the funds personally and keeps the information confidential. If so, these practices are against the law.
It will be interesting to see how the AG’s office advises how to proceed now that they have advised Chief Consentino he must register.
Letter of July 18, 2008 from AG to Chief Consentino
Topics: Police Departments |
And, why would Timberlane want to boast? The results are disgusting!
Here is the link;
You can click on any school in the district, with the drop down menu.
But here is the short and not so sweet results;
Grade 11 NECAP scores;
Reading 49% Proficient
Math 24% Proficient
Writing 25% Proficient
Grade 8 NECAP scores;
Reading 56% Proficient
Math 42% Proficient
Writing 43% Proficient
Granted these are only the proficient scores, another 25-30% can perform basic adequacy, in these disciplines, but proficient is what we used to call AVERAGE! And a MAJORITY OF GRADUATING SENIORS ARE NOT PROFICIENT IN ANYTHING, THAT WE HAVE BEEN PAYING THIS DISTRICT FOR 12 YEARS TO TEACH THEM!
The School Board, the administrators, superintendent, teachers, principals, should be ashamed. You are not doing your jobs. Reasons, and excuses aside, you are not completing the job you were hired to do.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Ex-Timberlane teacher sentenced in teen sex case
A former Timberlane Regional High School teacher received a 12-month suspended sentence yesterday as part of a plea agreement in which he admitted to having sex with a 16-year-old student.
Kevin Goddu, 46, of Chelmsford, Mass., avoided jail time by pleading guilty to two misdemeanor assault charges in Hillsborough County Superior Court in Nashua.
Goddu, who has been free on bail, is prohibited from teaching in New Hampshire. He must undergo sex offender evaluation and receive any recommended treatment, but will not have to register as a sex offender nor report to a probation officer as part of the plea agreement reached in April.
The 12-year Timberlane social studies teacher was tried on 14 counts of aggravated felonious sexual assault in November, a trial that ended with a hung jury. Each charge carried a potential sentence of 10 to 20 years in jail and a $4,000 fine.
Testimony at the trial revealed that Goddu and the female student were involved in an intimate relationship. Evidence presented at trial, including e-mails and telephone records, showed the two had sex at Goddu's brother's home.
But the prosecution was unable to convince jurors that Goddu used force and violence to convince the girl to engage in sex.
Goddu was suspended from his job at the Plaistow high school in March 2007, after allegations of inappropriate conduct arose. He resigned voluntarily on April 5, 2007.
Assistant County Attorney Patricia LaFrance said in April that the state agreed to remove reference to the sexual acts from the charges.
The girl and her parents expected to attend yesterday's hearing, LaFrance said, but could not because of illness. Instead, she read statements from the teen and her family in court.
"She is a remarkable young woman," LaFrance told Judge William Groff. "I wish she was here so I could tell her how much I admire her."
The family wrote of their anger over Goddu's violation of their trust. They also wrote they were upset by the reaction of some students and families who blamed the girl for Goddu losing his job.
"Our daughter's stellar reputation has been dragged through the mud as if we are still living in the 1950s," her parents wrote. "We have experienced some of the worst of human nature."
They described Goddu as "despicable," "narcissistic" and "evil," as well as a disgrace to his profession.
The teen suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and her once outstanding performance in school has suffered, she and her parents wrote.
"Growing up, I was always taught that I should be able to trust my teachers," the girl wrote. "However, this teacher crushed the boundary between teacher and student. I was like his puppet. I lost everything that I was."
Andrew Wolfe of the Nashua Telegraph contributed to this report.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Our view: Paying two for the job of one
At a time when schools everywhere complain bitterly of a lack of funds, the Timberlane Regional School District is paying two people to do the same job.
Dennis "Bucky" Tardif supposedly retired as Timberlane athletic director June 30. But he is still being paid as a consultant to his replacement, Angelo Fantasia. Tardif is earning $30 an hour for up to 20 hours a week supposedly to bring Fantasia up to speed on his difficult job. But Tardif's post-retirement employment is more likely entrenched school officials taking care of one of their own at taxpayers' expense.
No one in Timberlane leadership — not School Board Chairman William Baldwin, not Superintendent Richard La Salle — seems to know when the decision was made to hire Tardif, a 23-year school district veteran, as a consultant. There's no record of the decision in the minutes of any meeting. There's no contract, no specifics on how long he'll work — although Baldwin says the board decided he'll be needed for a year.
No records. No contract. And yet, the paychecks continue. Up to $600 a week for a year — a $30,000 kiss good-bye.
Nonsense like this quite rightly causes taxpayers to lose trust in school leaders and doubt their tales of financial hardship.
It's hard to believe Fantasia needs a year of help from Tardif. Fantasia was formerly the athletic director in Nashua, a larger district. If he was not unqualified to do the job from the outset, why was he hired?
Timberlane officials need to justify to the public their decision to employ Tardif. Without a better explanation than the one they're currently providing, Tardif should be sent back into retirement.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
AG's office: Police funds must follow the law Oversight of donation accounts must change
By Meghan Carey
ATKINSON — The Police Department's donation accounts have been the focus of a four-month investigation by the state attorney general's charitable trust unit.
The results are in: The money needs to be handled differently.
The investigation was spurred by complaints from residents to the attorney general's office, according to Terry Knowles, assistant director of the charitable trust unit.
The accounts — the police department equipment fund and the senior citizen donation fund — have long been fodder for debate, controversy and lengthy posts on two local blogs.
Police Chief Philip Consentino, no stranger to controversy in his job and in his previous seat on the Board of Selectmen, has defended the accounts and his handling of them. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.
But the state isn't suggesting any wrong-doing, rather ignorance of the law regarding such accounts.
"To be perfectly frank, not everyone understands how these funds work," Knowles said. "I think the town will be cooperative and perfectly reasonable about this."
Her office sent a letter to Consentino and selectmen Friday — and another will be sent out shortly.
"The town cannot hold charitable funds unless all activity and funds are held and reported through the trustees of the trust funds report," the letter states.
The two accounts are funded through donations, Consentino said previously. The money is used for police equipment purchases and senior citizen assistance, he said.
In 2007, $23,279 was donated — and $34,168 spent — to the Police Department donation account, according to the town report. Another $15,000 was donated to the senior citizen donation fund last year, according to Consentino's annual report, but there is no specific accounting of that fund in the town report.
Consentino does know how to raise money. In 2007, voters approved a warrant article appropriating $5,649 a year for four years to purchase a $43,000 wheelchair van. Less than a year later, Consentino announced he had raised $37,000 for the van through donations and would only need the first year's appropriation of the four-year warrant article.
Selectman Fred Childs said yesterday he doesn't think the town is doing anything wrong. Every time Consentino wants to take money out of either account, selectmen hold a public hearing. Childs said he can't remember anyone ever coming to a hearing and objecting to an expenditure.
So far this year, Consentino has withdrawn about $13,000 from the two accounts. Money went toward a cruiser camera, electric bills for senior citizens, flowers, and postage, among other things, according to selectmen's minutes, which are published on the town Web site.
On April 7, Jodi Consentino, the chief's wife, went to selectmen to ask for money from the Police Department's donation account to sponsor a baseball team. That's the one item selectmen voted on, which they passed unanimously.
Otherwise, selectmen just vote to open and close the hearings.
Selectmen Paul Sullivan and Bill Friel did not return phone calls yesterday.
Childs said other municipal departments receive donations — the Fire Department, library, Recreation Department — but it's only Consentino's accounts that are questioned.
"But it's just Phil's (accounts) that people seem to have a problem with," he said.
Now that the issue has been raised and investigated, the town has two options, according to the attorney general's office.
The town can form a nonprofit group to handle the accounts or it can turn control over to the trustees of the trust fund, Knowles said. If the town goes the nonprofit route, selectmen will have to establish a board of directors to oversee the accounts, she said.
Childs said yesterday that he hadn't seen the letter from the state and didn't think the other selectmen had either. But he did say selectmen likely would discuss the issue at their meeting Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Town Hall.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
The following was posted on SpeakOutDanville at the request of the Danville ACO. I thought it would be appropriate to post it here too.
Grace (Atkinson/N.Salem, NH) (SALEM NH AND SURROUNDING TOWNS)
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2008-07-23, 1:37PM EDT
*** LOST DOG ***
Grace is a recently adopted "special needs" golden retriever that has been missing since weekend of 6/29. If a stray golden is sighted in that general area(salem/atkinson/methuen) PLEASE CALL ME ASAP 603-965-5687. Grace is 5yr old, 55lbs and is extremely timid, shy and frightened of most people(mostly woman and children). She is frightened of loud noises and fast movements and may not come to her name. She left with collar and tag with my telephone number and Salem, Atkinson, Hampstead, Methuen, Derry and Haverhill animal control offices have been contacted.
If you know anyone that lives in that general area, can you email them a link so that they can keep an eye out for her too.
Believe she is hiding during the day and out looking for food at dawn and dusk
If seen please DO NOT try to chase her down...she is very scared
3 signtings of Grace on 7/17 on intersection of SHANNON RD AND PROVIDENCE HILL RD
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
New Article Submission, s'il vous plait.
The AGO's office sent a letter to the Chief dated April 7, 2008, advising him that
"any non-profit, charitable organization that: - Has been determined by the IRS to be a 501(c)(3) organization; and/or - Solicits donations in the State of New Hampshire or distributes funds to the community for charitable purposes; and/or - Is formed for any of the purposes enumerated in RSA 7:21, II - is required to register with and report to the Attorney General, Charitable Trusts Unit."
The Chief's response dated April 15, 2008 is as follows:
"...After investigating my situation I believe that I do not fall under the restrictions of IRS 501(c)(3). I would like to explain my reasoning.
I am not the proprietor of any funds that are sent to the Police Department. All funds received are deposited into the town of Atkinson's accounting ledgers. I do not have access to these funds. These funds can only be disbursed by approval of the governing body, the three member's of the board of selectmen.
The town presently has a Federal IRS number as a no profit organization and thus I feel that there is no need for me to duplicate what is already in place. These funds are audited by Mason & Rich Professional Association, Certified Public Accountants located in Concord, N.H. On Monday April 14th, we contacted this accounting firm and again asked their input on changing the way any donations are sent to the town. They advised that the way the donations are handled falls under the towns Federal IRS number. He stated that the Police Chief does not have direct access to the funds, for the board of selectment are the directors and care takers and these funds can only be dispersed with written authorization by the three members of the board of selectmen. The procedure of accepting and dispersing of these funds has been in place for over fifteen years.
If you should require any additional information pertaining to the reasoning why I believe the police department is not required to file as a non-profit organization, please feel free to contact me.
Sincerely; Philip V. Consentino"
The AGO followed up with a nice letter dated Juy 18, 2008 stating:
"I have reviewed the letter you sent to me in April. I have also reviewed the fundraising activities and oversight of the funds with Sandra at the Town Office.
Because the funds are raised through public solicitation and are used for charitable purposes, it is required that a charitable trust be formed and registered with this office. It is considered to be a public charity. The Town cannot hold charitable funds unless all activity and funds are held and reported through the Trustees of the Trust Funds report. I have confirmed with Sandra that this is not being done in this manner. Sandra did confirm that the funds are held in a separate account, expenditures must be approved by the Board of Selectmen, and you do not personaly have possession of the funds or a checkbook."
Well, ok then, it's Q&A time.
1) What is Mason & Rich's phone number? Someone call them and explain the law to them.
2) The original letter from the AGO mentioned soliciation but the Chief does not address this issue in his response, and he gets bagged.
3) The Chief states that ALL expeditures are aproved IN WRITING by THREE members of the BOS. Can you say RTK request?
4) Has anyone out there ever heard him request money for the "life is not done yet" trips for seniors? or the dinners where certain political candidates are invited, while others are excluded? Can you say electioneering?
5) What about the 5 funds outlined in the Town Report? The AGO knows about these :) but the Chief only talks about one account.
6) All activity and expeditures are reportable!! I like this one the most. Who's the Trustee of the Trust Fund anyway....I hope you are well rested.
7)All of the towns other non-profit orgs are registered (that we know of). Why does the town allow the PD to do this?
8) The Chief states that he does not have direct access to the funds. What about the big can at Hanniford? They cough up $500-600.00 at a time for the PD, per the store manager. If no one directly handles it, how does it get to the bank? He said the PD picks it up......
9)He leads the public to think the donations are only for the elederly. Sorry folks, it's not that way.
Can you say FIRE HIM? Can you say ARREST HIM?
July 22, 2008 8:43 PM
Atkinson Reporter2 please accept this as an article submission;
The evolution of a costly problem.
Although I grew up in Atkinson, I left to go to college, and now live out of state, but as I have family in town I try to keep up on events in town. I LOVED reading the Atkinson Reporter, and the Atkinson Taxpayers website, and now I love reading this site.
Background now out of the way, I have spent much time reading the atkinsontaxpayers.org website. I remember a lot of these incidents, but seeing it all together in one place is overwhelming. I decided to write about what I felt about reading all of this.
I think we can all agree, even though the police chief evidently does good work with the elderly, he is a costly problem to the town, what with all the lawsuits, resident complaints, shouting at meetings, Gestapo tactics with his enemies, etc. I wanted to examine how this could be allowed to happen in my home town.
As far as I can tell chief Consentino was appointed on a probationary basis in 1978 to the position of chief of police. At that time, as near as I can tell, he had been a part- time police officer for 8 years or so, with little or no formal training, or experience. It was in 1980 apparently that the first problem appeared;( all of this is available in the court documents section of atkinsontaxpayers.org)
A Selectman, Wayne Peak, apparently found that minor fees that the police charged for reports and such, were not being deposited to the town, but given to the patrolmens association(a private organization). As this was money charged by the town for services, Peak determined that it belonged to the town, and characterized the misappropriation of these monies as misuse of funds, or some type of theft. Peak brought his information to the board of selectmen and asked them to punish the police chief, but they refused. Peak went to court, filing a Writ of Mandamus, demanding that the Court order the selectmen to do their duty. He also resigned in protest.
I have to say that the court documents read like an adventure novel, allegations of police harassment, false charges of reckless driving later dismissed, formal accusations of witness tampering, employing agents to fire shots at the police station, complaints to the Mass Dept. of Revenue, untimely audits yielding no results, at one point chief Consentino even sued Mr. Peak, claiming, Libel, Slander, Defamation of Character, reduced earnings capacity, and stress related illness’. These competing claims wound their way through the Court system for 7 years, until being settled for an undisclosed amount. Mr. Peak then threw a party in N.Andover the weekend after the settlement to show off the TWO new Cadillac Eldorado’s he purportedly bought with the settlement.
This case was finally settled in 1988. In 1990 or 1991 there came another issue, then Lt. Rick Daniels resigned suddenly over disputes with chief Consentino. Chief Consentino claimed in the Eagle-Tribune that Daniels “wiped out 12 years of computer database information before he left”. Daniels claimed this never happened, and was heard to state that Atkinson didn’t even have a database in 1979.
In 1996 or so their was some issue apparently with police standards and training, resulting in their visit to town.
In 1997 and 1998 there were endless shouting matches between selectman Fred Childs questions about budget and expenditures in the police dept. and chief Consentino’s refusal to provide clarification to this selectmen, his boss. All of this is detailed in the Eagle Tribune, and on the atkinsontaxpayers.org site.
In 1999, the officers got so frustrated that they decided to form a union. There were “intimidation letters” from chief Consentino to the organizers, resulting in a labor board case, in which the NH Public Employees Labor Relations Board, ordered the “town and its Agent(Consentino) to cease and desist from any bullying, harassment, and intimidation of officers”.
Around this same time Mrs. Childs, then a part time officer herself, in Atkinson, evidently filed a complaint with police standards and training about chief Consentino’s hours, that he worked too many to be part time, and that he lacked the training and education to be full time. Chief Consentino responded by asking one of his officers to visit her house and take pictures of her Hampstead animal control cruiser, he followed this up with a letter to the Hampstead selectmen accusing Mrs. Childs of misusing her cruiser for personal business. When Mrs. Childs found out about this intimidation, and rightly blew up about it, Consentino claimed “I was acting as Phil Consentino resident, not Phil Consentnio, chief” Like every “resident” has access to police officers and police dept. stationary!
In 2003, there was another flap that ended up before the labor board involving officer Lorden, case was settled with officer Lorden receiving payment. There was another labor board case involving Officer Buco, another settlement, another payment. 2003, also saw the infamous “Town that hates Halloween” story, reported on CNN, Boston Globe, Union Leader, AP, Howard Stern, Michael Graham, Howie Carr, etc. Nice Job!
In 2004 saw the first conflict of interest allegations from Brian Boyle, then from Mark Acciard. Acciard, then a budget committee member, filed a code of ethics complaint, which they ignored. He then filed with the Court asking for an injunction to keep the POLICE CHIEF from DECIDING POLICE MATTERS AS A SELECTMAN!!! Should be a no brainer, right? Wrong! Chief Consentino refused to step aside, even after the Court ordered him to, and the Court found this 30 year chief in CONTEMPT OF COURT! He didn’t like that and tried to appeal it to the NH Supreme Court, and they dismissed his case!
In 2006 He was the subject of a Federal Civil Rights Suit against the Town, recently settled! Another settlement another payment!
And Now the Town is currently facing a $3,000,000.00 lawsuit alleging misconduct AGAIN on the part of Atkinson’s police chief! When does it end?
The selectmen could, at any time, during all of this done their duty, and enforced town policy, and reprimanded, suspended, or even fired the chief, but they have done nothing, and the allegations, legal costs, increased insurance premiums, all continue to march on.
July 22, 2008 6:30 PM
Timberlane hires retired AD as consultant
By Meghan Carey
PLAISTOW — Dennis "Bucky" Tardif may have retired from his position as athletic director for the Timberlane Regional school district on June 30, but he's still drawing a paycheck from the district.
Tardif is being paid $30 an hour to help his replacement, Angelo Fantasia, with the transition and putting together the district's strategic plan, according to Superintendent Richard La Salle. Tardif is limited to working 20 hours a week, which he's been doing.
"He's been working right through the summer," La Salle said.
Tardif is a short-term consultant, but La Salle said the duration of his work isn't specified nor is there a contract. Tardif could not be reached at his Atkinson home nor at the athletics office yesterday.
School Board Chairman William Baldwin said the board talked about hiring Tardif as a consultant to help with the transition. It decided it was necessary for a year, he said.
"That's a big job," Baldwin said. "It's a district job."
There is an assistant athletic director, Barry Chooljian, but Baldwin said he didn't have time to work with Fantasia. Chooljian is head of the guidance department and helps with athletics when he can, Baldwin said.
Neither La Salle nor Baldwin said they knew when the decision to hire Tardif as a consultant was made. The discussion isn't reflected in minutes from any meeting.
Fantasia, a Salem resident, was hired in early April. For the last five years he has served as athletic director in Nashua, a larger district with two high schools and two sets of varsity teams. He could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Still, La Salle said, it is necessary to have Tardif, a 23-year veteran, work with Fantasia in the beginning.
The athletic director position grew over Tardif's tenure, La Salle said. The main part of the job is coordinating the health and physical education curriculum for the seven district schools, and running the athletics programs at the middle and high schools.
But Tardif doubled the number of teams and took on other responsibilities, including managing facility rentals, La Salle said.
The roles were second nature to Tardif, but would be difficult for Fantasia to pick up on his own, the superintendent said.
"It became clear that it was not reasonable," La Salle said. "It's hard for someone to immediately assume (all the responsibilities)."
La Salle said the district was in a similar situation last year when former Pupil Personnel Director Colleen Bovi left. When she was replaced, a number of responsibilities she had taken on had to be spread among other administrators, La Salle said.
And, he said, he didn't want to do that again.
Tardif also is helping La Salle coordinate various reports that will be presented during budget season to assist the district in long-term planning of academics and facilities.
La Salle said he also plans to award a contract to architects Lavallee and Brensinger to study the structural integrity of the middle and high schools. The company will bring back three or four findings on whether the buildings can be renovated or if they will have to be rebuilt, when that may be necessary, and some planning costs, La Salle said.
The New England School Development Council also is studying the schools, doing an approximately $22,000 study of educational space needs, La Salle said. That will include comparing Timberlane programs to modern standards.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Police: Domestic violence calls are way up Poor economy cited as prime reason for increase
By Meghan Carey
Domestic violence is up 25 percent in Kingston and off the charts in Atkinson.
All Southern New Hampshire towns are reporting an increase in calls and arrests, something local police and victims advocates say is another effect of a poor economy. When money is tight, frustration builds, and a shortage of money can prevent some women from leaving abusive situations, advocates say.
As a result, local women's shelters are almost full.
Atkinson is seeing the greatest increase of all.
Police there have arrested 11 people on domestic assault charges so far this year, compared to just one over the same time frame last year, according to Lt. William Baldwin. Harassment charges have been filed in 22 domestic cases this year versus 14 last year.
And it isn't just the numbers. Assaults in town are becoming more severe in nature, he said.
"I also find that some displays of violent action are getting worse and worse," Baldwin said.
As the degree of domestic violence worsens, women are staying longer at shelters, according to Maureen McDonald, spokeswoman for the state Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.
"The number of people accessing the shelters went down, but (the number of) nights spent there is unusually high," McDonald said. "We had that number increase from 2006 to 2007 by 16 percent. That stood out to us."
That's been the case at Emily's Place, a YWCA emergency shelter in Derry. Program director Carrie Cooley said the shelter, which accommodates six families, has been full since just after Christmas.
She's been referring victims to 11 other YWCA-affiliated shelters, none of which are local. If a domestic violence victim cannot travel, Cooley said, she tries to secure victim compensation assistance for them.
"The impact that the economy has is the inability for victims to find safe and affordable housing for women and children to live in," she said.
So more women are forced to stay at home, experts say, where the abuse often becomes increasingly violent.
Hampstead police are responding to the same number of houses, but what they are finding has prompted a 33 percent increase in domestic-violence arrests this year, according to Lt. John Frazer.
"The (call) numbers are kind of the same. It's just the physical violence (that's increased)," he said.
Hampstead police have responded to 26 homes for some sort of dispute, and arrested 16 people so far this year. Officers went to 22 homes and made 10 arrests from January to mid-June in 2007, he said.
In Kingston, police are responding to more homes and making more arrests.
The increase in calls is about 25 percent, according to Chief Donald Briggs. Police have had 49 calls to date in 2008. There were just 37 by this time last year.
About 40 percent of those calls have resulted in assault charges and arrests, he said.
Salem police have responded to more than 300 domestic calls this year, according to Capt. Shawn Patten. Police investigated 115 of those incidents and many of them led to arrests, but Patten could not provide the actual number.
"We have a ton of domestic calls and a ton of arrests," he said.
Those numbers are up significantly over last year's statistics.
In all of 2007, there were 34 domestic assaults, 21 nonviolent family offenses and 186 nonviolent domestics, according to Salem's annual town report.
There are a number of reasons why women stay in abusive homes and relationships, according to Elaine, an advocate for A Safe Place in Salem. Her last name is not being used because of her line of work.
But monetary issues are rising to the top of that list of reasons these days, she said.
Some women aren't allowed by their abusers to work, so they don't have any job skills. Others work, but aren't allowed to keep their pay, Elaine said. She said she sees women from all social and economic classes.
"The economic times hit everyone," she said. "People who have these big houses to run can't afford them. Generally, it's the victim's fault (according to the abuser)."
That's what police have found in Plaistow. Violence isn't necessarily up there, but frustrations are, according to Deputy Chief Kathleen Jones.
Most of the 57 calls officers have responded to this year have been "shouting matches," she said. Police separate the parties involved and quell the situation, but there isn't much else that can be done.
"Usually, it's an indicator of the economy," Jones said. "Times get tough; it can create more bad tempers."
That's part of what Baldwin says is to blame for Atkinson's large increase in domestic violence — finances, alcohol and drugs.
"Money and unemployment are key issues," he said. "When you have those two, plus a family to deal with, it makes it more difficult to tolerate. Plus, alcohol is a strong issue — and drugs — in many of the cases we see."
Baldwin said they respond to the same houses numerous times for domestic calls, but they can't make an arrest until there is an assault or the victim cooperates with police.
Some victims want to forget it happened the next day, he said, but domestic violence is a behavior that often repeats itself. By state law, once an arrest is made, the state will go forward with prosecution, regardless of whether the victim wants that.
From there, the court will assign an advocate to work with the victim and help him or her through the process.
Resources for victims of abuse
r A Safe Place has a 24-hour hot line, advocates available to speak with in person during the day, and an emergency shelter for evenings for victims in Atkinson, Danville, Hampstead, Pelham, Salem and Windham. Call 890-6392.
r The YWCA Crisis Center provides confidential support and advocacy for women in Derry and Londonderry. Call 432-2687.
Domestic disturbance calls since Jan. 1
Town%Calls this year%Calls last year%Arrests this year%Arrests last year
*For all of 2007.
**Number of cases investigated, many of which led to arrests.
Friday, July 18, 2008
DES requires HAWC to provide more information and revise testing plans
The Eagle Tribune reported today that the NH DES, in a letter to HAWC's consultant, needs to provide more information regarding their large groundwater withdrawal request and to revise their testing methods. The article and the actual DES letter are available for viewing at the water site, www.just-goaway.com
The letter is a little tough to read but two points stand out. 1) Discharge from the pump tests must be done downstream from the monitoring stations. Think about it. 2) For Midpoint, Emery & Garrett, the consultant, must provide documentation that HAWC actually has the right to withdraw water from the site.
This second point raises a lot of questions and could have a dramatic effect on HAWC's plans.
Finally, the location for the Special Meeting will be at the Performing Arts Center at Timberlane High School.
Are all of these "non-profit" "donation accounts" LEGAL? Well lets see;
NONE are registered with the NH Secretary of State's office, as Non-profit organizations.
NONE are registered with the IRS as 501(c)3 charitable organizations.
ONLY the ORIGINAL DONATION ACCOUNT was established by warrant article at Town Meeting, as required by State Law.
ONLY the ORIGINAL DONATION ACCOUNT has public hearings to withdraw monies, as required by State Law.
ONLY the ORIGINAL DONATION ACCOUNT is overseen and accounted for by the Town bookkeeper.
So What about these other funds;
the "Senior Citizens Donation Fund";
The Police Department has set up a Senior Citizen Donation Fund where all donations are earmarked just for our seniors. We use this special fund to help some of our seniors with oil deliveries, pharmaceutical prescriptions and for special medical appliances. We sincerely thank the folks who have donated to this special fund. It can be very embarrassing for our seniors to be asked to fill out page after page of personal questions to obtain some assistance with their household bills. Using this fund, the Police Department can quietly help them over a financial hurdle while maintaining their privacy.
page 30 of Town Report.
By what Authority was this account set up? Who keeps the books? where is the oversight and accountability?
Last year we put in a Warrant Article requesting that the voters allow us to purchase a new van by entering into a four (4) year lease program. The cost of the van was approximately Forty Three Thousand dollars ($43,000.00). We requested and received authorization from the residents for a yearly expenditure of Five Thousand Six Hundred and Forty Nine Dollars ($5,649.00) for four (4) years to fund this van. I am pleased to say that due to the generosity of folks we were able to raise over Thirty Seven Thousand Dollars ($37,000.00). The tax payers only had to fund one (1) year’s payment, thus enabling us to pay cash for the van. I sincerely appreciate the support in allowing us to better serve our seniors.
page 30 of the Town Report.
Donations accepted by the POLICE DEPT.? Legally this is tantamount to using a badge and a gun to demand money, isn't it? Which fund? where are the books? when did the people vote to establish this account? Where is the registration with BOTH the STATE AND THE IRS, as required with organizations that receive over $25,000 in donations? Where is the IRS form 990? this has to be available for public inspection.
Your continued support in donating funds to the Police Department’s Equipment Fund has been greatly appreciated. We have, with these funds, been able to purchase many needed items that were not budgeted for in our Annual Operating Budget. During 2007, we received over Fifteen Thousand Dollars in donations for this special fund. Again, I thank you for your confidence and support in providing these funds to our department.
page 32 in the Town Report.
Over $10,000 in donations REQUIRES registration with the STATE. Where is the accountability? where are the books?
The Atkinson Police Department’s Elderly Affairs and “Life is Not Done Yet” Foundation donated the funds for two senior trips (Fall Foliage trip and Beacon Resort trip) and 11 weeks of Senior Wellness Exercise classes.
page 56 of the Town Report.
The POLICE DEPT> has an Elderly Affairs FOUNDATION? and a LIFE IS NOT DONE YET FOUNDATION?
ALL charitable FOUNDATIONS are REQUIRED to be registered with the IRS? the accounting, and recordkeeping requirements for a FOUNDATION, far exceed those for a non-profit.
Did any one of you out there know that all of these separate donation accounts existed?
District may sue Web site for defamation
Friday, October 19, 2007
By Rhiannon Meyers/ The Daily News
GALVESTON — Galveston public school trustees on Wednesday authorized the district’s legal firm to take all action necessary to clamp down on what they say is libelous material on parent-run Web site www.gisdwatch.com.
The law firm, run by David Feldman, plans to issue a letter to site administrator Sandra Tetley demanding that she remove all libelous material. If she refuses, Feldman plans to sue her.
The district’s move to sue for defamation is rare and unlawful, said Sandra Baron, executive director of New-York based Media Law Resource Center.
Under the 1964 Supreme Court case New York Times v. Sullivan, government entities cannot sue for libel — any court would toss out the “threatening” suit as being inconsistent with U.S. law, she said.
A school district suing for libel is an intimidation tactic and a waste of taxpayer dollars, Baron said.
“It’s clearly designed to tell citizens of the community: ‘Don’t mess with us. We have the power. Not only do we have the power, we have the tax dollars. And we’re using your dollars to fight your fellow citizens when they say something we don’t really like,’” she said.
“It’s pretty extraordinary to use the power of the state and the resources of the state, that is, the entire tax base, to ... try to bring a libel suit against an individual citizen.”
Libelous Or Not?
More than 100 registered users post on Tetley’s site. Feldman said it contained the most “personal, libelous invective directed toward a school administrator” he’s seen in his 31-year career. The district asked its law firm months ago to start monitoring the site.
The material is affecting the credibility of the district by deterring teachers who may want to work there, said board President David O’Neal.
Trustees first openly discussed suing gisdwatch.com at Wednesday’s board meeting.
It was the first time Tetley knew district officials thought the site was libelous, she said.
She plans to review all material deemed libelous, then decide what to delete, she said.
“We’ll definitely take a look at it,” she said. “We don’t want the district to be able to divert the attention away from our fight with reconfiguration. If they think it’s important enough to take it down, it’s not worth the district spending money to fight me.”
The board has long been criticized by Tetley and others for its actions, including reconfiguring its middle schools, closing elementary schools, meeting in executive sessions some have claimed are illegal, refusing to divulge the contents of a letter from a civil rights consultant and for issuing a budget forecast that was off by more than $10 million.
As the four-hour board meeting wound to a close Wednesday night, O’Neal pondered why there was still criticism of the district when it’s moving forward in a positive direction.
“The train has left the station and is gaining speed,” he said. “Either get on the train or get run over.”
Feldman said he considers only a few postings libelous. They’re libelous, he said, if they contain statements purported to be fact accusing Galveston administrators and trustees of breaking the law. Such postings by Tetley and anonymous users accuse trustees and administrators of lying, corruption, cover-ups, spying on employees outside nonbusiness hours and “enrich(ing) themselves financially,” Feldman said. In one posting, Tetley wrote “everything the district has done since (Lynne Cleveland) became superintendent has been either illegal or immoral, or both.”
If the district sues Tetley, it won’t ask for money, Feldman said. It will only request that she delete material that school district claims is libelous.
“This is in no way ... any effort to stifle criticism, whether it’s legitimate or not,” he said. “The sole reason for bringing the action is to stop the posting of clearly defamatory material.”
Tetley’s policy of allowing anonymous postings encourages libel, Feldman said.
Tetley said she allows anonymous postings because parents and teachers are worried about retaliation.
“That’s why they’re coming after us, because they want to silence dissenters,” she said.
“I think it’s horrible, and I think it’s a waste of money ... They bring in this (public relations) consultant to try to change this whole perception of how they are. They talk about building bridges, and now they’re going to sue us for speaking out and having an opinion. I would be willing to take it down, just so they don’t spend money. That’s not where I want the money to go. I want it to go to the classroom.”
Tetley said she has obtained a lawyer.
Defaming Public Officials
Though the district’s move is not unprecedented, it’s rare. Feldman tried to sue a resident for defaming school officials only once before, he said. Representing Alvin public school district in the mid-1980s, Feldman stopped an Alvin family from accusing school officials of discriminating against Mexican-Americans.
It’s often difficult to prove a public official has been libeled.
Aside from proving libelous statements are damaging, public officials must also prove actual malice. Actual malice means knowing a statement is false or having reckless disregard for the truth.
Bloggers complicate things.
The federal courts have ruled that bloggers can’t be held liable for what others post on their sites. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in April ruled that a Pennsylvania blogger wasn’t responsible for the content of postings on his site even though he picked which postings to display. The same court held in 2003 that America Online wasn’t responsible if one subscriber impersonated another in an chat room and defamed him.
The rulings stem from a federal law stating that those who control blogs and chat rooms can’t be held liable for statements contributed by others.
Invasion Of Privacy
In another twist, the district is considering suing on Cleveland’s behalf claiming invasion of privacy. At least one posting was signed with her name, though it was obviously not penned by her. The posting mocks Cleveland’s mottos about building bridges, oceans of opportunities and new directions. In this case, Feldman said he wouldn’t have to prove actual malice.
Though the posting is satirical, and not libelous, it’s an invasion of privacy to post in another’s name, he said.
“It’s like you’ve been figuratively raped,” Feldman said.
He’ll ask Tetley to remove all postings signed by Cleveland. Reconfiguration
The district’s controversial reconfiguration prompted Tetley to start the Web site in March. The February decision to place all island fifth- and sixth-graders at Weis Middle School and all seventh- and eight-graders at Central Middle School left Tetley thinking trustees and Cleveland weren’t listening to parents.
“We wanted to have a voice,” she said.
Tetley, using her site and a group called Galveston Alliance for Neighborhood Schools, made it a mission to “expose what the district is doing.”
Since March, Tetley has formally complained about the district to the Texas Education Association and the Galveston County district attorney. She’s filed 15 open records requests for Cleveland’s employment application and trustees’ campaign finance reports, among other things.
Look who Ed Naile is featuring in his blog this week at www.nhinsider.com, Why it's our friends over in Atkinson. This is bound to generate a little "upstate" interest. I'll bet even Governor Lynch takes a peak at nhinsider.com.
The King Is Dead, Long Live The AtKINGson Reporter 2
Our pals in Atkinson have a web site that rubs some of the town officials the wrong way – BRAVO!
But as with many attempts at reigning in bad government, there is a small, aggravating price to pay. The old Atkinson Reporter site was hacked and is reborn.
I am posting their comments about this and suggest you visit now and then. I have some interesting and apparently meant to be threatening correspondence on Atkinson Police Dept. letterhead to an Atkinson resident the goofy Police Chief sent a while back. We will post it on the www.cnht.org site for your reference.
Welcome back Atkinson Reporter!
Welcome to the NEW Atkinson Reporter! Under new management, with new resolve.
The purpose of this Blog is to pick up where the Atkinson Reporter has left off. "The King is dead, Long live the King!" This Blog is a forum for the discussion of predominantly Atkinson; Officials, People, Ideas, and Events. You may give opinion, fact, or evaluation, but ad homonym personal attacks will not be tolerated, or published. The conversation begun on the Atkinson Reporter MUST be continued!
This Blog will not fall to outside hacks from anyone, especially insecure public officials afraid of their constituent’s criticism.
(Congrats Guys, and remember when I was chasing your dopey police chief down I93 while he was going 81 miles an hour with that little old lady in the "Senior Services" car with Atkinson on my cell phone giving a play by play? You can't make that stuff up. Atkinson definitely has the dumbest police chief in NH.)
Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 08:33PM by Ed Naile | 1 Comment
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Small town intrigue is alive and well. Sometimes it much better than a juicy novel.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Congratulations: The rest of your 2008 paychecks belong to you and your family. Enjoy!
Oh, you didn’t hear?
The “mainstream” media probably didn’t tell you, but July 16 was this year’s “Cost of Government Day.” As Americans for Tax Reform notes, that’s the date on which the average American has paid his share of the financial burden imposed by the spending and regulation that occurs on the federal, state and local levels.
And just think: It only took you a little over half a year to do it.
I wish I could say things are improving on the government-cost front, but they’re not. This year’s date is four days later than it was in 2007 (July 12), and 17 days later than the “Cost of Government Day” notched as recently as 2000. In fact, COGD has fallen later than July 16 only four other times since 1977.
Something’s clearly out of whack. And we know what it is -- the free-spending ways of our elected officials in Washington. As Americans for Tax Reform notes in its report on Cost of Government Day, “The driving factor for this development is the fact that all components of the cost of government -- federal spending, state and local spending, and regulation -- are now increasing faster than national income.”
Unfortunately, the solution isn’t merely to get politicians to stop spending like teenagers equipped with their parents’ credit cards (although that would help). The fact is, the amount of money spent by Washington is already on track -- automatically, without politicians lifting a finger -- to go through the roof in the years ahead.
The reason? Our national entitlement programs are set to expand rapidly. According to researchers at The Heritage Foundation:
“These middle-class retirement programs, Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, will cause federal spending to jump by half, from 20 percent of the economy to 30 percent by 2035. This tsunami of spending is a major threat to limited government because it runs on auto-pilot with automatic increases locked in by each program’s governing laws. While other programs are constrained through annual budgets, entitlements get first call on resources. Other goals such as defense or national security must compete for an increasingly smaller share of what’s left. This ‘locked in’ spending is steadily undermining the economic future of younger generations, who face a debt burden of $175,000 per person. The moral and ethical challenge from the entitlement tsunami is undermining our democratic system as more Americans become dependent on the government and other priorities are automatically pre-empted.” Continued...
But what happened to the signs? They disappeared as quickly as they appeared, the conventional wisdom in the town hall was that chief Consentino, and Selectman Sapia were holding an unofficial off the record race to see who could get more. That statement was heard in the town hall, but, of course, there is no EVIDENCE of any of this. But why were they so aggravated by signs that had nothing but a URL spray painted on them? Why did they feel so threatened?
Were the signs ACTUALLY illegal? Not according to the town's sign ordinance, which classifies them as "temporary signs" which don't need permits, much like real estate signs. And, if you consider that the blog is all about political free speech, then those signs were protected under the Constitution as well, so what happened to them?
We will perhaps never know. Surely we can't expect any type of unbiased, investigation from the police dept., but maybe the sign's owners can get justice outside of town, seeing as that seems to be what it takes over the last few years.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
First question that comes to mind is why the board didnt schedule this so that the vote could coincide with the November election? That would have saved the Town at least $3,500.00. Remember they were complaining about the cost of a special town meeting?
Also Remember that if the FIRST warrant articles hadn't been sabotaged by the prior board, then this meeting would not have been necessary.
Second question is why not allow 30 days from your decision on the date, to the actual deliberative session?
Third question, will the board take a page out of Newton's book, and actually stand up and defend our water? Their track record in this regard is abyssmal.
Call your board and let them know what your feeling are on this issue.
Monday, July 14, 2008
OOPS! I Stepped In Pure Democracy
Let us return to the Town of Windsor dear readers. No police Department, no highway crew, no school, no library, no bloated retirement program for former employees – almost a low tax nirvana you might say - except of the “Immoral Windsor Majority”.
As pure democracy goes, you have all the failings of it highlighted in this tiny NH hamlet. That would be the usual gang of self-serving locals and wanna-bees who use the 50% plus one advantage to do things such as pick the pockets of their neighbors, pass zoning regulation but ignore it themselves, create income producing projects for themselves, and hold highly regarded elected office.
But as we sit and wait for the Melanson and Heath auditing firm to valiantly try and figure out whathappened to the taxes the Selectmen and Tax Collector did randomly and wantonly collect for the single year 2007, one wonders what happened to the uncollected taxes of friends and relatives of the Immoral Majority pre 2000 to 2006?
Recently, the Selectmen ABATED the taxes of some of the insiders which were not collected from 2000 until the Windsor Taxpayers exposed the long running scam in Superior Court with their Right to Know case.
As luck would have it, the Windsor Immoral Majority LOST all the financial records from before 2000. That’s the “Windsor Way”. My suspicion is that there would have been a “dog ate my homework” excuse in 2008 when once again the town finances collapsed from fraud and mismanagement.
The score in this game so far:
Random Tax Collector and Taker Carer of Friends Beverly Hines – resigned, stuck on incompetent, may have to claim she is bi-polar if this goes south.
Selectman and Coverer Upper of Beverly Hines – resigned, stuck on stupid, may have to claim a medical condition if the audit goes to 2000.
Windsor Selectmen – stuck holding the racketeers together until something breaks, may have to plead collective prove bi-polaritis.
Windsor Taxpayer Association – One pro se court win, court costs reimbursed, clean hands, possesses the most complete collection of town records in existence, got a front page story about Windsor corruption on the FRONT PAGE of the Boston Globe on March 28, 2008, can walk away from this any time they want.
The Windsor Immoral Majority – Can still elect or appoint any like-minded candidate they choose (wow), can mutually comfort themselves with fantasy stories about how wonderful they are, stuck being themselves, seem to be fighting amongst themselves on weekends? Is that a new Windsor hobby?
CNHT – we have an inside look at and proof of the way the NH Department of Revenue and the AG’s Office have covered up, so far, for the incompetent and possibly criminal actions of the Windsor Immoral Majority for eight years we know of, more info for the Professional Conduct Committee on the behavior of one attorney, Paul Apple, of the Upton and Hatfield law firm - who has been a thorn in the side of good government in several towns and schools we operate in, the right to bring our own Right to Know case, and don’t forget that court win we had when the Windsor Immoral majority tried to keep a video camera out of Town Meeting 2006 (front page Union Leader story there).
Posted on Sunday, July 13, 2008 at 10:33AM by Ed Naile
Compare this to our selectmen shouting down comments they disagreed with, "GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT!!!" from our chief for one; the blatent conflicts of interest even AFTER the Court Ordered them to knock it off.
Is this right? There was a time when we had budget committee members that watched the expense reports and questioned this type of activity. That way even if they couldn't get the selectmen to do the right thing, they at least let the public know they were being fleeced. But no longer.
Vote at right and let the selectmen know what you think!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
The time has come for the end of the Atkinson Reporter original blogspot Due to a hacking campaign that has lead to interrupted service to all of us readers and participants. Apparently this decision was made in the best interest of everyone. I'm not the one to tell the whole story, it isn't my place and also i don't have the full accurate story to tell. But the good news to this story is that the Atkinson Reporter is still alive and is now on under the name Atkinson Reporter 2. The link is on the link list. But here it is.......
Here is my message to the Hacker or Hackers, best of luck Hacking into this new site! And for everyone else, Can you believe that the hackers went through all they did to stop or destroy our right to freedom of speech? Remember, your ex selectman Jack Sapia ordered the Atkinson Reporter blog signs to be taken down. And then lied on camera about talking to our town attorney about the whole deal. And then when a citizen went to claim these signs from the town, they disappeared. These are the kind of people who are out to stop your right to talk about your government. I won't be intimidated, and neither will the rest of you. The Reporter lives on!
Friday, July 11, 2008
This article told the story of how our police chief disposed of the "detail car" last year, and somehow, his kid knew where it was, and what the Town was paid for it, and bought the car the next day for $100.00 more. The problems with this story were numerous; The "inside information" which chief Consentino acquired through his job, and passed to his son. The discount price paid to the town, and the immediate profit to a family member of a town official, and what about the reason that the car was sold? Chief Consentino stated that it was "not fit" for use, yet his son used it as a daily driver. So it was not fit for use as a "detail car" sitting still with it's light on, but it was ok, for his kid to drive daily? To quote Jerry Williams... "It doesn't pass the smell test"
2.) Remember the misuse of sick time?
At my company this would be a firing offense, they would call it fraud! But not in Atkinson... The chief of police admits publicly, that "for 6 years or so" he has been approving sick time for his second in command, Lt. Baldwin to go on his Coast Guard summer camp, and no one gets in trouble? What about the almost $5,000.00 in evidently fraudulent sick time paid?
3.) Whatever happened to those "Blog" signs?
Isn't that theft? to take something that doesn't belong to you, especially something on private property? I am certain Atkinson PD is investigating, but what happened to the actual signs? were they thrown away? On whose authority? for what purpose?
And how can a government remove temporary signs that are not illegal?
All of these questions need to be answered, but the selectmen obviously don't want to have to deal with any of these issues.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Robert Seaman, Concord
For the Monitor
July 08, 2008 - 12:00 am
June 30, 2008, may be remembered in history as the day Americans began, in earnest, the moral and solemn process of holding their government accountable to the Constitution - under threat of withdrawal of allegiance, support and tax money.
Last Monday, approximately 1,200 American citizens began the process of exercising a profound, but little-known, 800-year-old right first articulated in Magna Carta by formally serving a "legal notice and demand" for redress of grievances upon the president, the attorney general and every member of Congress.
Incredibly, academic research since 1986 makes clear the right to petition for redress is not a redundant statement of the right of speech. It is in fact, the individual exercise of popular sovereignty. Here's what the founders sitting at the first Congress wrote:
"If money is wanted by Rulers who have in any manner oppressed the People, they may retain it until their grievances are redressed, and thus peacefully procure relief, without trusting to despised petitions or disturbing the public tranquility."
Demanding an official response within 40 days, the notice includes seven petitions for redress of grievances regarding substantial violations of our Constitution including the war, money, privacy, arms and tax clauses.
If liberty and constitutional order are to survive peacefully, it is imperative that the people learn about and exercise the unalienable right of redress.
For details about the plan to restore constitutional order, visit www.wethepeoplefoundation.org
Show me the money Interim administrator leaves Atkinson for better paying Plaistow position
By Meghan Carey
Atkinson interim Town Administrator Craig Kleman is leaving for the same job in Plaistow.
The contract was finalized last week, but Kleman asked Plaistow officials to keep it quiet until he could meet with Atkinson selectmen. He confirmed yesterday that he accepted the interim job in Plaistow and plans to start on July 14.
Until then, he'll stay at
It's another similarity for two towns that have been searching for a town administrator and town manager for months. In this leg of the search, the town that pays more won.
Plaistow Selectman Larry Gil said they plan to pay Kleman $900 a week. That's $200 a week more than Atkinson pays him.
Plaistow also moved to promise Kleman a longer-term contract than Atkinson had.
Atkinson selectmen and Kleman verbally agreed he would extend his interim contract for another 30 days, but the deal was never inked. They were planning to sign the document last night. Selectman Fred Childs said earlier that Atkinson planned to offer Kleman a permanent job, but that hadn't happened yet.
Kleman's contract with Plaistow extends through the end of October, Gil said.
"That's when we anticipate, we think, we may have another town manager in," he said. "But we wanted to make sure, in case there wasn't an overlap, that we would have somebody on board for budget preparation."
Jason Hoch, Plaistow's former town manager and interim administrator, was going to stay until someone new started, but couldn't reach an agreement with the selectmen. His last day was Saturday.
When Kleman applied for the interim job in Atkinson in April, he also was a candidate for the permanent job. Yesterday, he said he plans to do the same in Plaistow.
"I haven't applied yet, but that is my intention," Kleman said of applying for the permanent job in Plaistow.
The application deadline for the permanent post is July 7.
Plaistow is looking for a town manager, not a town administrator. Plaistow is a larger community with a larger budget, and the salary offered reflects that. Plaistow advertised an annual salary between $84,000 and $95,000. Atkinson didn't advertise a pay range, but paid its last town administrator about $58,000.
Kleman, 51, has town administrator experience — interim and permanent — in Seabrook, Epping and
Plaistow selectmen restarted their search for a town manager after their first choice from the first round didn't accept their offer. Selectmen said none of the other candidates had town administrator or manager experience, and they wanted to expand the pool.
Atkinson selectmen met in nonpublic session last night to decide what to do. Kleman was one of three finalists for the town administrator job in Atkinson. The position has been vacant since February when Russell McAllister left for a local government job in
Tale of two towns
Interim pay%$700 a week%$900 a week
Permanent pay%$58,000*%$84,000 to $95,000
Town budget%$4 million%$7.5 million
It's not much of a report card.
Half of Americans say
"A lot of kids, when they get out school, are kind of lost," said Jamie Norton, a firefighter in
The views of the general population echo concerns from business and college leaders, who say they have to spend a lot of time and money on remedial education for people who completed high school but don't have the skills to succeed at work or in higher education.
Education ranks behind the economy and gas prices as a top issue for Americans, the survey said. However, nearly all those polled said the quality of a country's education system has a big impact on a country's overall economic prosperity.
Education was generally viewed to be as important as health care and slightly ahead of the
Minorities and whites rate schools differently. Fifty-nine percent of whites rate their local school as good or excellent, compared with 42 percent of minorities.
Minority parents are more likely to think their children are getting a better education than they received as children. Overall, the majority of those surveyed said the quality of
Three-fourths of those surveyed believe schools place too much emphasis on the wrong subjects. Asked what subjects should be given more time in school, more than a third said math. English was a distant second, at 21 percent. A tiny fraction picked art, music and the sciences, such as biology and chemistry.
Parents may want more math in school because they feel unprepared to help at home, said Janine Remillard, who teaches math-related courses at the
"Math is the subject that parents are often intimidated by," she said. "We've allowed a lot of kids to just say, 'I'm not good at math,' .... and those kids become parents."
Most think the
Americans have mixed views about standardized tests, which have grown in importance. The 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law judges schools based on math and reading tests taken by their students. Schools face increasingly tough consequences for scores that miss the mark.
About half of those polled said standardized tests measure the quality of education offered by schools well, while the rest disagree.
The vast majority think classroom work and homework _ not standardized tests _ are the best ways to measure how well students are doing.
Larry Michalec, a computer programmer in San Deigo, called the testing a waste of time. "They're standardized and people aren't standardized," he said. "Children get taught to the test. They get taught to take the test. They don't get taught to learn." Continued...
From the Eagle-Tribune!
Proposal could affect water supply in 2 towns
By Rebecca Correa
The Hampstead Area Water Co. has proposed a 742-acre water franchise, or pump houses, on land that abuts Plaistow. The proposal is meant to serve Sargent Woods, a senior housing project with 80 units, now under construction in
But Plaistow and
Newton Planning Board member James Doggett said in the worst-case scenario, the proposal could limit the water supply for every house along
And it won't just be
"There are houses in Plaistow that sit on the aquifer that could potentially be looking at water problems because HAWC petitioned (to withdraw) 30,000 gallons a day," Doggett said.
Plaistow plans to send representatives to the meeting tonight for exactly that reason.
Specifically, the proposal would hurt residents of
Residents in the
"From what I understand, they (are) concerned about the adequacy of water now," she said. "I don't know if it's the amount or the pressure, but they are already having problems."
Komornick said a third housing development has been approved on the
"I think there's going to be significant withdrawal going on," Komornick said.
The withdrawal does not require town approval and the state would have given the water company the OK. But
Doggett said the intervention allows for the public meeting tonight. At the very least, he said, it will give residents a chance to be informed and stall the installation of more than a dozen pump houses.
"What selectmen can do to try to affect the (state) Public Utilities Commission decision is limited," he said. "But if 600 people showed up to the meeting tonight and said they don't want this, the Public Utilities Commission, one assumes would actually listen to this."
The Hampstead Area Water Co. is based in Atkinson and has been in business for about 30 years. It is the third-largest private water provider in the state and serves at least 10 communities.
A phone call to the general manager of the company was not returned.
Doggett said he doesn't like the lack of local control that comes with the proposal. If the pump houses are put in, he said, the opportunities for the company are endless. For starters, if the town ever wanted municipal water, the Hampstead Area Water Co. would have the rights or could require the town buy them out.
"They can actually petition the rights to bottle water right here in town, too," he said. "The franchise is sort of like telling residents you can only shop at that car dealership or shop on a store on your street. Individual homeowners have certain rights and no company should be able to petition the state and take away your right to make a decision."
Doggett said Planning Board members are also unhappy the company didn't compromise with them and build a smaller franchise.
"It seems way in excess of what they need," he said. "They also offered to reduce the size of their franchise request and they rescinded that offer just two weeks later."
But most residents in both towns don't know enough about the proposal to make up their minds one way or another.
"What we're trying to do at this meeting is, first of all, get answers to questions about it," she said. "We want to find out what kind of rights does it give the homeowners. Will water taken be off the property and can we manage this?"
Doggett said he's sure most people in town don't know about the water franchise, but everyone should become informed and attend the meeting tonight to voice their opinions. The Public Utilities Commission will also hold an informational meeting at a later date this summer.
"Nine out of 10 people who have no idea what's going on will assume the Planning Board blessed this, and we don't," he said. "We've struggled hard and long to make sure the town is well served and when the townspeople don't pay attention, there's only so much we can do."
Staff writer Meghan Carey contributed to this report.
Who: Residents of
What: Informational meeting about proposed water franchise
When: Today at 7 p.m.
Why: Discuss a water franchise scheduled to be built on the Newton/Plaistow line
WOW!! Did you read THAT???
This is what the citizens of Atkinson asked our esteemed leaders, Selectman Sapia, Childs, and Sullivan to do on our behalf, and they told us;
Sorry, it's the States problem, not ours!
GUYS, It is YOUR problem to do what the voters ask you to do, NO MATTER WHAT!!!
Our planning board, and selectmen, were only too happy to ignore this potential problem.
And they wonder why they get so much criticism....
From the Eagle Tribune;
Timberlane community wants academic improvement
By Meghan Carey
PLAISTOW — Extracurricular activities are stronger than academics at
The voices of 43 parents who recently participated in an e-mail survey speak louder than their sum. Some 44 percent of responding parents said the quality of a Timberlane education has declined in the last three to five years, and 70 percent said academics are what need improvement at the high school. Approximately 1,600 students from Atkinson,
Those parents aren't alone. Local bloggers and discussion board members are echoing the sentiments online. Four local blogs and online forums have had a flurry of postings in the last two weeks under threads labeled "Timberlane has lost its way" and "Timberlane is going down the tubes."
While the posters allege the school administration doesn't see what's going on, Superintendent Richard La Salle said last week he knows improvements are needed at each school.
"I think that there's always a problem with quality," he said.
Administrators have targeted reading and writing at the elementary and middle-school levels as the areas that need immediate attention,
"In this day and age, I think the minimum standard is some form of post-secondary education,"
At the elementary and middle schools, a new reading program is already in place. Teachers use six steps to help them identify students who are struggling with reading before their grades start to reflect it,
Anne Isenberg, a mother of two from Atkinson, was recruited this spring to work on the Strategic Planning Committee. She said there's a discrepancy between the community's opinions of the school district and what the district is doing.
When she and her family moved to the area in 1995, she started talking to people about the schools. What Isenberg found was a community distrust in the schools — and she says that hasn't gone away. A lesson in public relations would help the situation, she said.
"They have been very quiet," Isenberg said of school administrators. "They have to realize that without any communication, the rumor mill fills in."
Improvements in communication can go both ways, according to School Board member Stephen Brown.
There's a time at every meeting for parents and taxpayers to make comments about the district, but that time is rarely used. Brown said it's a much more appropriate forum than posting on blogs.
"We listen, we discuss and reply to those comments," Brown said. "We are constantly striving to make the school district better."
The Strategic Planning Committee, which is made up of parents, administrators, teachers and a School Board member, is striving to do the same.
Isenberg and Kate Delfino of Atkinson, two of the parent representatives on the committee, are taking their roles seriously — starting with conducting the parent e-mail survey.
Isenberg said she didn't have every parents' e-mail address, but tried to get the survey to as many people as possible. The results are not scientific and from a narrow segment of the population, but both women said they are still indicative of parents' general opinions.
"It's one piece in a very large puzzle that we are putting together," Delfino said. "It's really just to be able to quantify some of the thoughts and concerns that are on some parents' minds."
Thirty-five percent of those parents said the quality of a
When asked what the strengths of the high school were, most parents said performing arts and athletics. Safety and security, clubs and special interests tied for third.
Academics didn't make the list.
Whether community sentiment changes in the future, the plan is to change the education provided to the students over the next 10 years,
The Strategic Planning Committee is collecting data from another parent study, state assessment testing, SAT and ACT scores, and the NHEIAP — a state Department of Educational improvement and assessment program — report, the
When the data is turned into a 10-year plan this fall,